392Joined Dec 2021


AI safety + community health


We are EAs because we share the experience of being bothered - by suffering, by pandemic risk, by our communities' failure to prioritize what matters. Before EA, many of us were alone in these frustrations and lacked the support and resources to pursue our dreams of helping. I remember what it was like before EA and I'm never going back. Thank you, each of you, for bringing something beautiful into the world.

In the coming months, it could be valuable to estimate the total EV of this fraud so we can 1) map actions to consequences and 2) more deeply understand what happened here.

That might include:

  • EV of total x-risk reduction FTX was expected to fund (% reduction * number of future lives spared)

-Loss of life from direct victims

-Reputation damage to EA and subsequent loss of funding, talent, and reduced growth

-Reduced efficacy of existing EA orgs due to damaged trust, reduced resources, and trauma

Some of these will be difficult to estimate. But I think we should know what we lost, and those engaged in fraud should know what it cost.

I like the sentiment but disagree. We have to know how far this goes. This is a system failure, not just an individual failure.

I cleared my calendar yesterday just to grieve. I relived losing family to the pandemic, thinking of all the resources lost for pandemic prevention.

It’s true that there’s work to be done, but grief is heavy, and if we don’t deal with it honestly we’ll pay dividends later.

This is a significant community tragedy and will  be emotionally traumatic,  for people who who were involved directly and for others. 

In addition to the direct impacts, many of us may experience:
-Loss of trust
-Loss of our idea (s) of the future
-Loss of feelings of safety
-Difficulty articulating what we have lost / minimizing our experience in light of those who have lost more

Others may experience:
-Relived grief from other authority figure failures (for example, I lost family to the pandemic and am now viscerally reliving that experience, in light of reduced resources to future pandemic prevention)
-Loss of community / pulling away from community
-Acute mental health crisis

I'd like to challenge those of us who are treating this dispassionately to check in with ourselves: if you are having trouble clicking away from the updates, if you find yourself distracted or weirdly paralyzed, take note. That's likely grief. 

It sounds like this isn’t the feedback you’re hoping for, and that sucks, but I think people aren’t sold on your model specifically. Check out Charity Entrepreneurship as an example of a nonprofit incubator for innovative / unusual ideas!

I’m sorry, and I really wish you guys the best of luck! It’s super competitive and many great orgs don’t clear the hurdle.

For transparency, though, I personally focus and donate to organizations closer to what 80,000 Hours is talking about, because I think huge public health threats have an outsized impact on poverty and wellbeing.

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